Real Estate Slowdown? Where?

So all I have heard from the media lately is …. Housing market is going to flatline (National Post),  Housing market shows signs of cooling (CTV),  Housing market slows, Numbers are down, etc.  You are starting to get my drift !!

Don't know what to do?

Real Estate is healthy.

Well, I eat, breathe, sleep real estate and all I can say is: WHERE???  This sure isn’t happening in Durham Region or in the east end of GTA.   I can only speak of what I see and what I know.  I heard the President of CREA last week speaking at a Leadership Conference I was in and she used a line that stuck in my head. “Is this what you THINK or is this what you KNOW?”   And it is very true.

People run around saying all kinds of negative things and yet all the buyers I have that find the house they like, usually end up in multiple offers.  It is happening everyday.  SO?  I ask you – where is all this negativity coming from ???

Interest rates are at an all time low !  I remember in 1989 my mortgage was 18%…so let’s stop with all this “end of the real estate market” as we know it.  House prices are still 2-5% higher than last year and if the home is presented properly, it SELLS in a minimum amount of time.

Don’t feed the negative frenzy.  Agents are looking for listings because we have buyers and not enough good inventory out there.  If you want to sell you home quickly, do your homework.  Clean, fresh, less clutter, a good agent and comparable market price and you won’t have a problem.

So if you are thinking on buying or selling your home, don’t listen to all this nonsense.  It seems whenever the media has a slow day, they pick on real estate.  LOL  🙂

Real estate STILL IS and ALWAYS WILL BE your best investment.  Ask your parents, or think about 20 years ago if you knew then what you know now !!    The rate of  return is second to none !!  Ok, my rant is over !!

On that note, if you are thinking of buying or selling an want a candid honest opinion, I would be happy to come by and meet you and discuss it.

Have a super day !  Cheers xo

Avoid Costly Buyer Errors

AgentSold01.jpgShopping for a new home is an emotional experience. It’s also time consuming and  comes with a myriad of details. Some buyers, however, caught up in the excitement of buying a new home tend to overlook some items. Their home purchase turns into an expensive process. These errors generally fall into three areas:

  • Paying too much
  • Losing a dream home to another buyer
  • Buying the wrong home

When you have a systematic plan before you shop, you’ll be sure to avoid these costly errors. Here are some tips on making the most of your home purchase:

Bidding without sufficient information
What price do you offer a seller? Is the seller’s asking price too high? Is it a deal? Without research on the market and comparable homes, you could lose thousands of dollars. Before you make that offer, be sure you have researched the market. A professional realtor, can offer an unbiased opinion on the value of a home, based on market conditions, condition of the home and neighborhood. Without knowledge of the market, your offer could be too much. Or worse, you could miss out on a great buying opportunity.

Buying a mis-matched home
What do you need and want in a home? Sounds simple. Yet, clearly identifying your needs and bringing an objective view to home shopping, leaves you in a better position. Sometimes, home buyers buy a home that is too large or too small. Perhaps they didn’t consider the drive to work, the distance to school, or the many repair jobs waiting for completion. Plan ahead. Use your needs list as a guideline for every home you view.

Unclear title
Before you sign any document, be sure the property you are considering is free of all encumbrances. As part of their services, a realtor can protect your interests and make sure you have the correct clauses in your offer to protect your interests. 

Outdated survey
Before the purchase is completed, an updated survey is necessary if available.   This report will indicate boundaries and structural changes (additions to the house, a new swimming pool, neighbour’s new fence which is extending a boundary line, etc.).  Don’t worry, if the Seller doesn’t have one, now with Title Insurance, we will make sure your investment is covered.

Unexpected repairs
For $300 – $500 a professional inspector will conduct a thorough inspection of the home. This way, you’ll have an idea of the cost of future repairs. Make the final contract subject to a favourable report.

Shopping without pre-approval
It only takes a few days to get financing pre-approval. When you are shopping for a home, this gives you more power. A seller is more likely to consider an offer from a serious buyer.  I have mortgage brokers I can refer you to for a quick and easy over the phone pre-approval.

Need help to find your dream home?  I would be happy to assist you and make the process both enjoyable and profitable.  Call Michelle Makos 416-300-3004 or visit my Durham Homes For Sale Website.

Getting Your Foot in the Door (First Time Buyers)

Getting Your Foot in the Door.

Like many would-be homeowners, you may be wondering how you can possibly afford to buy your first home. Even if you think you can’t afford a home, these saving tips and financing strategies can take you there sooner than you think and turn you from a renter into an owner.

Develop a culture of saving

The first priority for you should be to develop a culture of saving. This not only helps you in budgeting and planning for the future, but also to satisfy banks and other lending institutions that you have a clear commitment to save.

Start an automatic saving plan

Saving for a down payment can be a financial challenge but it’s a step forward to owning your dream home. Make saving automatic by setting up an automatic savings plan at your bank to regularly move a specific amount of money directly from your chequing account to a savings account. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save and how quickly the “pay yourself first” approach adds up.

Borrow from yourself

The federal government’s Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) lets you borrow from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to help purchase your first home. You and your partner can each withdraw up to $20,000, provided it’s not locked-in and the money has been in the RRSP for at least 90 days. You have to repay the loan in installments over the next 15 years to avoid a tax hit.

Take a holiday from tax

If you open a new Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), you won’t pay any tax on earnings, which will help you compound your savings. You can contribute up to $5,000 a year to a TFSA, and save for anything you like, tax-free.

Review your mortgage options

Once you make the decision to purchase a property, the next choice is the type of loan to suit your budget. The two most common types of loans are the variable interest rate loan and the fixed interest rate loan.

You can now choose to pay back your mortgage over 25 or 30 years, instead of the traditional 20-year amortization period. This means you will pay more interest over the long term, but you can reduce monthly payments to get into your starter home. You can always change this later, once your income rises and you can pay your mortgage down faster.

Get into a starter house

Try to be as flexible as possible when choosing your first home. Unless you are status conscious, your first home doesn’t necessarily have to be your dream home. You could settle for a starter home, which you can afford with a small down payment and easy mortgage installments. There are plenty of lower-priced houses out there in need of repair, with some “Do-It-Yourself” projects where you can add more value to the house. Just be careful not to buy a place where the cost of repairs will eat up any profits you might make when you sell.

In just a few years you will build enough equity in your starter home to make it easier for you to sell and move into to your dream home.

Buying your first home is an exciting process. After all, your home could be the largest asset you’ll ever own. Being able to finance most of its cost will take a load off your back in the future.